247-249 Berkeley (39-45 Newbury)

247-249 Berkeley (2013)

247-249 Berkeley (2013)

Combined Lot 83.5' x 112' (9,352 sf)

Combined Lot 83.5′ x 112′ (9,352 sf)

247-249 Berkeley (39-45 Newbury) is located on the NE corner of Berkeley and Newbury, with 48 Commonwealth (255 Berkeley) to the north, across Alley 437, 237 Berkeley to the south, across Newbury, 37 Newbury to the east, and 67 Newbury (Church of the Covenant) to the west, across Berkeley.

247 Berkeley and 249 Berkeley were designed by Emerson and Fehmer and built ca. 1869 by I. & H. M. Harmon, builders. 247 Berkeley was built for investment banker Francis Howard Peabody, and 249 Berkeley was built for his brother and partner, Oliver White Peabody.

Bainbridge Bunting’s Houses of Boston’s Back Bay does not attribute 247-249 Berkeley to a specific architect. However, a January 1, 1870, article in the Boston Daily Transcript Supplement states that, at the corner of Newbury and Berkeley, “two large brick and sandstone double houses have been erected, according to plans drawn by Emerson & Fehmer. F. H. and O. W. Peabody are the owners, and I & H. M. Harmon were the builders.”

39 Newbury, originally a separate building, was built in 1889-1890 as a four unit apartment house. It probably was designed and built by Frederick B. Pope, who acquired the land on July 16, 1889, and sold the completed building to real estate developer Albert Geiger. Columbia Richmond Beal, an architect in Frederick Pope’s office, is shown as the owner and architect on the original permit application, dated March 5, 1889.

The land for 247 and 249 Berkeley was purchased by Francis and Oliver Peabody, respectively on July 20, 1870, from the City of Boston, after their houses had been completed. The land for 39 Newbury was purchased from the City on April 20, 1877, by paper manufacturer Samuel Dennis Warren. It remained a vacant lot for the next twelve years.

All three lots were part of a larger parcel on the north side of Newbury extending 150 feet east from Berkeley, which the City had acquired from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on July 7, 1859, as partial settlement of its dispute with the Commonwealth over rights to lands in the Back Bay.

On July 20, 1869, the City had entered into an agreement with respect to its property on Newbury Street with insurance agent and real estate investor Charles Austin Wood. The agreement was not filed with the Suffolk County deeds, but is referenced in its deeds conveying 247 Berkeley, 249 Berkeley, and 39 Newbury, each of which specify that the “conveyance is in full performance of an agreement between the City of Bsoton and Charles A. Wood, dated July 20, 1969, which is assigned in part to the grantee.”

247-249 Berkeley (ca. 1942), photograph by Bainbridge Bunting, courtesy of The Gleason Partnership

247-249 Berkeley (ca. 1942), photograph by Bainbridge Bunting, courtesy of The Gleason Partnership

247 Berkeley, 249 Berkeley, and 39 Newbury remained separate properties until 1923.
In late February and early March of that year, they were acquired by Llewellyn O. White, J. William Blaisdell, and Charles A. Hoyle, who then transferred the properties to themselves as trustees of the Peabody Building Trust. The trust combined the three buildings into one building, called the Peabody Building, adding an additional story to 247-249 Berkeley and converting the combined building into stores, offices, and apartments. As part of the remodeling, an entrance to 247 Berkeley was added on Newbury Street with the address of 45 Newbury.

Click here for an index to the deeds for 247-249 Berkeley (39-45 Newbury) as a combined building.

On September 14, 1928, the property was acquired by Charles F. Adams, Philip Dexter, E. Sohier Welch, George L. DeBlois, and Robert H. Gardiner, as trustees for the Boston Real Estate Trust. It continued to hold the property for the next 28 years.

On May 15, 1956, the property was acquired from the Boston Real Estate Trust by O. Kelley Anderson, Edwin D. Brooks, John H. Gardiner, George Fowland, Charles Segal, Philip H. Theopold, and Francis C. Welch, trustees of the Real Estate Investment Trust of America.

On January 12, 1960, the property was acquired by the Copley Operating Corporation. Real estate dealer and future hotel operator Irving M. Saunders was president and his son, Roger A. Saunders, was treasurer. On September 9, 1974, they transferred the property to themselves as trustees of the Peabody Trust. Irving Saunders died in December of 1979, and on May 11, 1984, the property was distributed to Saunders family members: one-half interest to Irving Saunders’s brother, real estate dealer and hotel operator Sidney Saunders, and the other half interest divided among Roger Saunders, his brother Donald L. Saunders, and the Irving M. Saunders Family Trust. On the same day, Donald L. Saunders acquired his uncle’s and brother’s interests, and on July 31, 1986, he acquired the remaining interest held by the Irving M. Saunders Family Trust.

247-249 Berkeley (39-45 Newbury) remained stores, offices, and apartments and 2015

247 Berkeley

247 Berkeley was designed by Emerson and Fehmer, and built ca. 1869 by I. & H. M. Harmon, builders, as the home of Francis Howard Peabody and his wife, Lucy Adelaide (Kinsley) Peabody. They previously had lived at 65 Worcester. They also maintained a home in Arlington.

Francis Peabody’s brother, Oliver W. Peabody, built his Boston home at 249 Berkeley at the same time. Francis and Oliver Peabody and Henry Purkitt Kidder were co-founders of the investment banking firm of Kidder, Peabody & Company.

247 Berkeley, Newbury Street façade (ca. 1880), courtesy of Historic New England

247 Berkeley, Newbury Street façade (ca. 1880), courtesy of Historic New England

The Peabodys purchased the land for their two houses from the City of Boston on July 20, 1870, after the houses had been completed. The land was part of a larger parcel on the north side of Newbury extending 150 feet east from Berkeley, which the City had acquired from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on July 7, 1859, as partial settlement of its dispute with the Commonwealth over rights to lands in the Back Bay.

Click here for an index to the deeds for 247 Berkeley.

Francis Peabody died in September of 1905. In his will, he specified that his property would be held in trust for Lucy Peabody, and that after her death, half would be distributed to their son, Frank Everett Peabody, and the other half to Frank Peabody’s wife, Gertrude (Bayley) Peabody.

Lucy Peabody continued to live at 247 Berkeley until her death in November of 1914, and on December 7/8, 1914, 247 Berkeley was conveyed by Francis Peabody’s estate to Frank and Gertrude Peabody.

The house was not listed in the 1915 Blue Book.

On April 15, 1915, 247 Beacon was acquired by Elizabeth Haven (Russell) Dewart, the wife of Rev. William Herbert Dewart. They previously had lived at 54 Beacon.

Rev. Dewart had been named Rector of Old North Church in 1914.  He previously had been Rector of Christ Episcopal Church in Hyde Park, and before that Assistant Rector of Trinity Church.

During the 1916-1917 winter season, the Dewarts were living elsewhere and 247 Berkeley was the home of Mrs. Susan Goodman (Clark) Stellwag, the widow of merchant Gustav Stellwag.  She had lived at 113 Commonwealth during the previous season.  Her usual residence was in Paris, but she was living in Boston because of the war.  She died in September of 1917.

The Dewarts had resumed living at 247 Berkeley by the 1917-1918 season.  They continued to live there in 1920, but had moved to 101 Chestnut by 1921.

During the 1920-1921 winter season, 247 Berkeley was the home of Dr. John Charles Phillips, III, and his wife, Eleanor Hayden (Hyde) Phillips.  They previously had lived at 3 Louisburg Square.  A physician by training, John Phillips was a noted naturalist who had participated in a number of international expeditions; he later would serve as Research Curator of Birds for the Museum of Comparative Zoology and as a member of the faculty of the Peabody Museum in Cambridge,  The Phillipses had moved by the next season, and were living at 34 Mt. Vernon by the 1922-1923 season.

By 1922, 247 Berkeley was the site of Katharine Gibbs School and the home of Miss Florence B. La Moreaux, the school’s director.

On February 28, 1923, 247 Berkeley was acquired from Elizabeth Dewart by real estate dealer Michael R. Molineaux. At the same time, Michael Molineaux also acquired 249 Berkeley and 39 Newbury.

On March 2, 1923, 247 Berkeley was acquired from Michael Molineaux by Llewellyn O. White, J. William Blaisdell, and Charles A. Hoyle. They acquired 249 Berkeley and 39 Newbury at about the time, and on March 15, 1923, transferred all three properties to themselves as trustees of the Peabody Building Trust.

Katharine Gibbs School continued to be located at 247 Berkeley during the 1923-1924 winter season. By the next season, it had moved to 90 Marlborough and Miss La Moreaux had become principal of Old Colony School at 317 Beacon.

The Peabody Building Trust combined 247-249 Berkeley and 39 Newbury into one building, called the Peabody Building, adding an additional story to 247-249 Berkeley and converting the combined building into stores, offices, and apartments. As part of the remodeling, an entrance to 247 Berkeley was added on Newbury Street with the address of 45 Newbury.

249 Berkeley

249 Berkeley was designed by Emerson and Fehmer, and built ca. 1869 by I. & H. M. Harmon, builders, as the home of Oliver White Peabody and his wife, Mary Anne (Lothrop) Peabody. They previously had lived in Milton (where they continued to maintain a home).

Oliver Peabody’s brother, Francis H. Peabody, built his Boston home at 247 Berkeley at the same time. Francis and Oliver Peabody and Henry Purkitt Kidder were co-founders of the investment banking firm of Kidder, Peabody & Company.

The Peabodys purchased the land for their two houses from the City of Boston on July 20, 1870, after the houses had been completed. The land was part of a larger parcel on the north side of Newbury extending 150 feet east from Berkeley, which the City had acquired from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on July 7, 1859, as partial settlement of its dispute with the Commonwealth over rights to lands in the Back Bay.

Click here for an index to the deeds for 249 Berkeley.

Oliver and Mary Peabody lived briefly at 247 Berkeley but had moved by 1872 to 105 Marlborough.

On September 30, 1871, 249 Berkeley was purchased from Oliver Peabody by Henry Martyn Clarke. He and his wife, Jane (Jennie) Loomer (Hurlburt) Clarke, made it their Boston home. They previously had lived at 351 Beacon. They also maintained homes in Belmont and Pepperell.

Henry M. Clarke was a paper manufacturer, having first been associated with Samuel Dennis Warren, the husband of his sister, Susan Cornelia (Clarke) Warren. In 1867, Henry Clarke organized his own firm, operating mills in Pepperell and Westminster, Massachusetts, and Bennington, New Hampshire. The firm was dissolved in May of 1873 and he subsequently retired. The Clarkes continued to maintain homes in Belmont and Pepperell, and he became a noted breeder of cattle and horses.

On April 2, 1876, 249 Berkeley was acquired from Henry M. Clarke by his brother-in-law, Samuel D. Warren.  Samuel and Susan (Clarke) Warren lived at 67 Mt. Vernon.

The Clarkes continued to live at 249 Berkeley during the 1876-1877 winter season, but moved thereafter. By 1879, they were living at 13 Walnut with his widowed father, Rev. Dorus Clarke, and by 1881 at 103 Beacon.

On March 5, 1878, Henry Clarke acquired the property back from Samuel Warran. The Clarkes continued to live as 13 Walnut and leased 249 Berkeley to others.

In 1877, 249 Berkeley was briefly the home of Mrs. Frances Lathrop (Beebe) Fiske, the widow of dry goods merchant George Jenckes Fiske.  She previously had lived at 32 Chestnut, and by the 1877-1878 winter season, she had moved to a new home she had built at 261 Clarendon.

During the 1877-1878 winter season, 249 Berkeley was the home of former China shipping merchant James Murray Forbes and his wife Alice (Bowditch) Forbes.  They had lived at 25 Commonwealth in 1877, and by 1879 had moved to 56 Commonwealth.

In 1878, 249 Berkeley was the home of Mrs. Ann (Claflin) Draper, the widow of Daniel Draper, and their daughter, Ada Augusta Draper.  They previously had lived at the Hotel Hamilton at 260 Clarendon.  Ann (Claflin) Draper died in December of 1878 and her daughter moved soon thereafter.

By the 1879-1880 winter season, 249 Berkeley was the home of Mrs. Achsah Ann (Sawyer) Leonard, the widow of Thomas W. Leonard.  Their unmarried daughter, Mary, her mother, Sarah Sawyer, and her sister, Mary E. Sawyer, lived with her.  They previously had lived at 124 Boylston.

Mrs. Leonard accepted lodgers, and among her lodgers in 1880 was William Whitwell Greenough, treasurer of the Boston Gas Light Company, and his wife, Catherine Scollay (Curtis) Greenough.  They had lived at 9 Marlborough in 1879, and by 1882 had moved to 286 Beacon.

In 1881, Sumner Rust Mead and his wife, Anna Maria (Baldwin) Mead, were lodgers at 249 Berkeley.  They previously had lived at 555 Columbus.  Sumner Mead was a dealer in hosiery, gloves, and small wares.  The Meads were living at 249 Berkeley while their new home was being completed at 284 Commonwealth; they had moved there by the 1881-1882 winter season.

On February 21, 1881, Henry M. Clarke transferred 249 Berkeley to Samuel D. Warren and Samuel D. Warren, Jr., in trust to be managed for his benefit and the benefit of his wife during their lifetimes, and thereafter to be divided between their two children, Henry Martyn Clarke, Jr., and Katharine Hurlburt Clarke.

Achsah Ann Leonard continued to live at 249 Berkeley during the 1884-1885 winter season, but moved thereafter.

By the 1885-1886 winter season,  249 Berkeley was the home of Frederick Seth Leonard and his wife,  Ruth A. (Colby) Leonard.  He was in the express business (his father had founded the first express service between Boston and Worcester).  The Leonards continued to accept lodgers at 249 Berkeley.

By the 1886-1887 winter season, Rev. Edmund Farwell Slafter was living at 249 Berkeley as a lodger.  A retired Episcopal clergyman, Edmund Slafter was an historian and genealogist.  He was a widower, his wife, Mary Anne (Hazen) Slafter having died in August of 1886.  Prior to her death, they had lived at The Thorndike at 91-92 (230-240) Boylston for several years; in the early 1880s, they had lived at 14 Arlington.  He continued to live at 249 Berkeley until his death in September of 1906.

The Leonatds lived at 249 Berkeley through the mid-1890s.  By 1900, however, they were living in Hingham, where he was a hotel keeper.

249 Berkeley continued to be a lodging house, leased by the Leonards and operated by Miss Elizabeth Clifford.  Her parents, John and Helen Clifford, and several lodgers (including Rev. Slafter) lived with her.

By 1902, Frederick and Ruth Leonard were living at 249 Berkeley once again.  They had lived at 142 Marlborough during the 1900-1901 winter season.

Henry Martyn Clarke died in December of 1898 and Jane (Hurlburt) Clarke died in February of 1903. On April 16, 1903, Samuel D. Warren, Jr., and Louis D. Brandeis, successor trustees to the trust established by Henry M. Clarke in 1881, transferred a one-half interest in 249 Berkeley to each of the Clarkes’ children: Henry Martyn Clarke, Jr., and Katharine Hurburt (Clarke) Watson, the wife of Paul Barron Watson.

Frederick and Ruth Leonard continued to live at 249 Berkeley and operate it as a lodging house through about 1910.

249 Berkeley remained a lodging house with various operators.

By the 1917-1918 winter season, it was the home of Mrs. Elizabeth A. (Ames) Carney, widow of Walter Carney, who operated it as a lodging house. She previously had lived at 244 Newbury.

On February 26, 1923, 249 Berkeley was acquired from Henry M. Clarke and Katharine (Clarke) Watson by real estate dealer Michael R. Molineaux. At the same time, Michael Molineaux also acquired 247 Berkeley and 39 Newbury.

On March 6, 1923, 249 Berkeley was acquired from Michael Molineaux by Llewellyn O. White, J. William Blaisdell, and Charles A. Hoyle. They acquired 249 Berkeley and 39 Newbury at about the time, and on March 15, 1923, transferred all three properties to themselves as trustees of the Peabody Building Trust.

Elizabeth Carney and her lodgers continued to live at 249 Berkeley during the 1923-1924 winter season. She moved thereafter to 10 Commonwealth by 1925, where she operated a lodging house.

Among the longest term lodgers at 249 Berkeley were George Abbott Osborne, a professor of astronomy and mathematics at MIT, and his brother, Alfred S. Osborne, an accountant. They had moved there in about 1899 from 11 Beacon, and continued to live at 249 Berkeley during the 1923-1924 winter season. Alfred Osborne died in February of 1924, and George Osborne moved thereafter to 10 Commonwealth to continue to be a lodger with Elizabeth Carney.

The Peabody Building Trust combined 247-249 Berkeley and 39 Newbury into one building, called the Peabody Building, adding an additional story to 247-249 Berkeley and converting the combined building into stores, offices, and apartments. As part of the remodeling, an entrance to 247 Berkeley was added on Newbury Street with the address of 45 Newbury.

39 Newbury

39 Newbury was built in 1889-1890 as a four unit apartment house.

The land for 39 Newbury was purchased on April 20, 1877, from the City of Boston by paper manufacturer Samuel Dennis Warren. It was part of a larger parcel on the north side of Newbury extending 150 feet east from Berkeley, which the City had acquired from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts on July 7, 1859, as partial settlement of its dispute with the Commonwealth over rights to lands in the Back Bay.

39 Newbury (2013)

39 Newbury (2013)

Click here for an index to the deeds for 39 Newbury.

Samuel D. Warren and his wife, Susan Cornelia (Clarke) Warren, lived at 67 Mt. Vernon. His brother-in-law, Henry Martyn Clarke, also a paper manufacturer, owned and lived at 249 Berkeley, which abutted the north half of 39 Newbury to the west.

The land subsequently changed hands, including being owned by Henry Clarke from March of 1878 to February of 1881 and by Francis H. Peabody, who owned and lived at 247 Berkeley, from April of 1881 to February of 1889, when it was acquired from him by George F. Wayland.

On July 16, 1889, architect and builder Frederick B. Pope acquired the land at 39 Newbury from George Wayland. Several months earlier, on March 5, 1889, Columbia Richmond Beal, an architect in Frederick Pope’s office, had filed a permit application to build a four unit apartment on the land, and it appears likely that either he or Frederick Pope designed the building.

On December 24, 1890, 39 Newbury was acquired from Frederick Pope by real estate developer Albert Geiger, and on July 15, 1891, he sold the building to Isabella (McLean) Keith, the widow of Martin Luther Keith. She lived at 216 West Chester Park.

On November 21, 1892, 39 Newbury was acquired from isabella Keith by Agnes M. Pierson. She was a dressmaker and lived in one of the apartments in the building. She previously had lived at the Hotel Pelham (southwest corner of Boylston and Tremont).

39 Newbury (ca. 1942), photograph by Bainbridge Bunting, courtesy of The Gleason Partnership

39 Newbury (ca. 1942), photograph by Bainbridge Bunting, courtesy of The Gleason Partnership

Agnes Pierson married in September of 1895 to Harry C. Daggett, a musician. After their marriage, they lived at 39 Newbury until about 1900, when they moved to 156 Newbury.

Agnes (Pierson) Daggett died in December of 1913.

On May 1, 1917, 39 Newbury was acquired from Harry Daggett by Frank L. Dunne, a merchant tailor. He was a widower and lived at 330 Bay State Road.

On February 14, 1923, 39 Newbury was acquired from Frank Dunne by Edward M. Lynch, and on February 28, 1923, it was acquired from him by real estate dealer Michael R. Molineaux. At the same time, Michael Molineaux also acquired 247 Berkeley and 249 Berkeley.

On the same day as he acquired 39 Newbury, Michael Molineaux conveyed it to Llewellyn O. White, J. William Blaisdell, and Charles A. Hoyle. They acquired 247 Berkeley and 249 Berkeley in early March and on March 15, 1923, transferred all three properties to themselves as trustees of the Peabody Building Trust.

The Peabody Building Trust combined 247-249 Berkeley and 39 Newbury into one building, called the Peabody Building, adding an additional story to 247-249 Berkeley and converting the combined building into stores, offices, and apartments. As part of the remodeling, an entrance to 247 Berkeley was added on Newbury Street with the address of 45 Newbury.